Despite a dismal first half, KC Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer had one of the best second halves of any player in Major League Baseball. That second half earned him Royals Player of the Year honors.
On May 31st, the Royals were in last place in the American League Central at 22-30, coming off an 8-20 month of May. Hosmer was a major reason why the team was struggling. Sure he was hitting a respectable .261. But he had just one home run and 16 RBIs, terrible for a middle of the order hitter.
The Royals and Hosmer turned their season around, as the Royals finished ten games over .500 (64-46 the rest of the way). Hosmer hit .318 over the final four months with 16 home runs and 63 RBIs. Maybe it was adding George Brett to the coaching staff or maybe it was just Hosmer trusting himself and figuring it out.
He led the AL with 60 multi-hit games. He was seventh in the AL in hits with 188. His 156 hits after May 19th were the most in the Majors. Hosmer was sixth in the league with a .323 batting average against left-handed pitchers. He also had a big league best (tied with Texas’ Adrian Beltre) 65 hits after the sixth inning.
His final numbers looked like this: .302, 17 HR, 79 RBIs, 86 runs scored, 32 doubles, and 11 stolen bases.
Hosmer also was named the AL Gold Glove award winner at first base for the first time this season. Both of these accolades will help him and his agent, Scott Boras, this winter as Hosmer is eligible for arbitration for the first time. I am guessing a big payday is in order.